10 Big Differences Between Goals and Dreams That You Must Know

Difference between Goals and Dreams

Are you waiting for your dreams to come true and change your life?

I am sorry to tell you that dreams don’t come true.

Rather, it is your goals that can forever change your life.

You need to set goals in order turn your dreams into reality.

Don’t Confuse Dreams and Goals

Dreams are easy. They are free, too.

However, dreams by themselves are just that… dreams.

They are imaginary. And they don’t produce tangible results.

You need to turn your dreams into action. You need goals to make the visions of your dreams real.

“Dreams can inspire you, but goals can change your life.”

Goals are all about action. Goals turn dreams into reality.

Goals change you and can change your life.

The Differences Between Goals and Dreams

Don’t confuse your dreams with goals.

Dreams occupy your mind. Goals take over your reality.

What will it take to turn your dreams into goals?

Here are 10 Big Differences Between Goals and Dreams:

  1. Goals are something you are acting on. Dreams are something you are just thinking about. Goals require action. Dreams can happen without lifting a finger, even while you are asleep.
  2. Goals have deadlines. Dreams are just, well, dreams. Goals must have a deadline. They have a time limit. Dreams can go on forever. In fact, many people maintain dreams their entire lives without ever reaching them.
  3. Dreams are free. Goals have a cost. While you can daydream for free, goals don’t come without a price. Time, money, effort and sweat. How will you pay for your goals?
  4. Goals produce results. Dreams don’t. Want to change your life? Your job? Your status in life? Goals can do that. A good friend of mine made six-figures on the ebook he published. He did that. Had it stayed as a dream, his life would have been as it always was.
  5. Dreams are imaginary. Goals are based in reality. You may dream of being Superman, but that is probably not going to happen. Goals are about what you can actually accomplish. They are grounded in the reality of our world. Goals should be big, but not supernatural.
  6. Goals have a finish line. Dreams never have to end. Dreams can go on forever. They don’t have to have an ending point. Goals must have a specific outcome.
  7. Dreams can inspire you. Goals can change your life. Dreams can bring you motivation. They can inspire you. But, goals can change your life forever.
  8. Goals must have focus. Dreams don’t. Dreams can be drifting, ever-changing thoughts. Goals must be laser-focused. They must be specific and they must be always on your mind.
  9. Goals require hard work. Dreams just require your imagination. Dreaming is easy. Almost everyone has a dream. But, fewer people have goals. Goals are hard and they require hard work. (See #3)
  10. Dreams stretch your imagination. Goals stretch you. Dreaming leads to bigger dreams. They stretch the limits of your imagination. But, goals stretch you. They increase your skills, your abilities, and change you forever.

Goals Do Come True

Dreams can inspire you, but goals can change your life.

Sometimes it only takes one step to change a dream into a goal.

Yet, it can take years to take that goal to the finish line.

Always dream big, but make sure your goals are just as big.

Because dreams don’t come true… but goals do.

Question: Which of your dreams do you need to change into a goal?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Jack

    That’s a great list. Personally when write a goal in my todo list I follow it with the next step in achieving that goal. Gives me clarity and direction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/harryche.got Harry Che

    Great post on dreams vs. goals. You may want to check out http://www.GoalsOnTrack.com/, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals, habits, and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It’s clear, focused, easy to navigate, and most of all, really works!

  • sobercool

    “Had it stayed as a dream…” Key part of this entry.

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  • ThomasYates

    Great post. Dreams are always good to have, but if you want to make your dreams come true then you need to set yourself some SMART Goals and go about executing your plan

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  • Stephie Daniel

    Absolutely correct. I would say that goals and dreams are two aspects of life. A better management of goals can give you a better move ahead. To reach the goals its recommended for a proper management and in that process time plays a precious role.

    Companies do track the time for a proper time management and go ahead to reach the goals. I am too proactively using cloud based time tracking software from Replicon – http://www.replicon.com/time-tracking-softwares.aspx to reach the goal in time and with with a result oriented approach.

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  • Wyatt

    I like it, but I disagree, I’d say a huge goal is a dream, and then goals are monitoring your progress in chasing a dream. You have to dream to come up with a goal and to get direction, to find out who you are and what you want. Then place goals to get closer and closer to your dream I.E. losing weight for good, starts off with a diet (goal 1) then add the gym (goal 2) while maintaining the first goal then add how many days you work out (Goal 3) while maintaing all other goals, then change your hobbies (goal 4) while maintaing your other goals, then as that progresses you eventually wind up at your original dream of losing weight for good (just an example for me its music and the exact same concept) But I feel like your undermining dreams very much so. They are the reason why you would have a goal…. its like saying I am the strongest man ever and I don’t need a mind because of my physique, well you wouldn’t have a physique if you didn’t have a brain telling you what to do or when to give up etc…

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  • Marc

    « Goals produce results. Dreams don’t. »

    But the way you wrote this article, is as if having no dreams wouldn’t bring any goals. So, on the first hand, dreams produce goals which then produce results.

    So dreams do « indirectly » produce results…

    (Sorry for my grammar. English is not my native language)